Located towards the south end of Palisade Head Laceration Jam takes an aesthetic line up a striking hand crack. The second pitch takes you up a wide crack around the corner to a belay ledge. The third and less memorable pitch takes you through a roof and up a chimney to the top.
A great route in an even better location.
P1 The crux pitch leads up the crack, past the overhang, to an airy stance on the left. Belay takes orange tcu, .75 BD, and 3 BD. Or skip this and link into 2.
P2 Continue up into wider terrain and traverse right around the corner to a ledge with an old pin belay. Back up with pro in crack if necessary.
P3 Traverse around block and climb through an overhang (5.8) and up a chimney (5.6R) to the topo.
Rack: Singles of Orange Tcu - .75 BD, Doubles from 1-4 BD with an optional 5 for P2.
By Kris Gorny Administrator Feb 16, 2007 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
Mike Farris's guidebook mentions a chockstone wedged at the end of the first pitch. This chockstone, backed up with a #4.5-#5 cam could at the time be used for a hanging belay. We repeated the climb in October 2006 and the chockstone is no longer there. We ended up on a hanging belay off two large cams. I would recommend setting a safer belay sooner -- on the ledge on Christmas Tree Crack. It's on the left just past the overhang.
Thanks for the beta and pictures for the route, the 1st pitch is awesome, and I can't wait to try all three once it gets nice out again.
By ferrells Oct 25, 2007 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
This was one of the first 5.10 trad routes I ever tried, and I was in way over my head. The first pitch is a wonderful, sustained, slice and dice affair with great pro. On my first attempt, I took what was, to my young mind, a monster whipper on this pitch (perhaps 25 feet - and my first lead fall). Shaky and scared, I placed all my gear low, and didn't have anything bigger than a number 9 hex, and number 3 camalot. After climbing above my last piece - that number three camalot, I gunned it for the belay ledge, and whipped out of a couple of fist jams near the end (first fist jams I ever did). I finished the pitch, but in poor style (without lowering and pulling rope). Without anything bigger than a number 3 camalot, the second pitch was all but un-protectable. My partner climbed up a little ways, girth hitched a round stone half-way lodged inside the crack, and having no other way to protect the crack, almost shit his pants as he climbed above the "pro". He came down, and gave me the sharp end. I climbed the big right leaning crack without gear, and placed the number three camalot just as the crack wrapped around the corner. I will never forget going around the corner, having no idea what I would find (we didn't bring the topo), and seeing an unprotectable hand traverse stretching far to my right. I finished the pitch and we finished the route, and it stands as one of the best experiences of my life. I went back last year and did the route again with another partner, without falling, and with gear that fit the crack. It wasn't as hard as I remember (I now know how to jam, and have climbed much harder routes), but it was just as good, with some of the best exposure and best climbing in the region.
By Kris Gorny Administrator Oct 30, 2007 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
That's a cool story. When I climbed it with Adam Therneau, we set up a hanging belay on that chockstone and were both hanging off of it. Then, standing at the second belay, I heard Adam yell to me that the chockstone moved as he stepped on it. We were lucky. I guess this thing eventually fell off on its own or else we'd hear about it.
I would definitely recommend a double set of #2-4, with a 4.5 and/or a 5 for the upper section. This can be done in two pitches, with enough runners to help the drag, and would make a stellar first pitch. The traverse is creepy; the razor sharp edge feels like its going to break off at any instant! Classic route.
This route is great! First pitch is a beautiful sustained ~10b/c handcrack with good placements. Second pitch is a little freaky traversing the razor edge(I cut the inside of my palm leading this pitch) with marginal feet. Overall GREAT climb, a must do.
By BIATHLON From: Duluth Mn May 4, 2009 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b PG13
If you combine the first two pitches it woul be usefull to have 3 #2's, 4 #3's, 2 #4's, and 1 #5 BD's. Otherwise this is probably a R rating in my opinion. The last pitch can be safely protected the whole way. There is a finger crack to the right of the chimney that takes gear well but is pretty mossy.
FYI: I removed fixed #4 Camalot from the top of the 1st Pitch
By ferrells Jun 20, 2010 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
a fixed no. 4 camalot! lucky dog
By JJ Schlick Administrator From: Flagstaff, AZ Oct 28, 2010
When I was 18 this route triggered an epiphany that rumbled deep inside me... A freshman, once again, in college, as well as, on the stone... I struggled through the learning curve of hand/wide hands with a minimal rack of cams and probably made it by, by fear alone. When I set my first hanging belay with bloody hands and a racing heart, there was no turning back on crack climbing or adventurous stone. I do love the North Shore.
I carried my #6 Camalot all the way up this planning on shoving it in on the 2nd pitch... it doesn't fit. Bring #5 BD (purple, not the old green size) Camalot for extra pro on 2nd pitch, however a 3rd #4 would probably work just as well, depending on how close you like your gear. A very large hex (BD #11) would be nice on P2 as well.
The rusty bolts at the end of the second pitch can be backed up with a larger cam #4, 5, or 6 BD (if you saved one).
The flake on P2 is as easy as playground monkey bars, but feeling it move while you pull on it (in certain places) and placing gear behind it makes the adrenaline levels rise...
If this climb was solid Yosemite Granite you'd see a lot more traffic on it.